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39 votes

Why do missiles typically have cylindrical fuselage and not a fuselage that generates more lift?

Rockets with solid fuel must be round, or they would weigh more. Remember that the rear part is filled with fuel which gradually burns away, so the whole fuel container has to withstand the pressure ...
Peter Kämpf's user avatar
26 votes

How thick is the skin of an aircraft like the Airbus A350 or Boeing B777?

From whats written here Fokker F100 skin is 1.0 - 1.4mm Boeing 747 skin is 1.8 - 2.2mm Airbus A320 skin is about 1.1mm According this article on the Boeing 757 ...Although Boeing specified that the ...
Dave's user avatar
  • 101k
22 votes

How thick is the skin of an aircraft like the Airbus A350 or Boeing B777?

Just a couple of mm thick, about 2-3 is enough. The fuselage barrel gets its strength from the large diameter: bending moments of the fuselage (and wing) get translated into tension and compression ...
Koyovis's user avatar
  • 61.8k
16 votes

Why do missiles typically have cylindrical fuselage and not a fuselage that generates more lift?

There are several reasons why most missiles have a round shape. I try to list (some of them) in roughly ascending order of importance: Round shapes with wings are easy to calculate: Well known rough ...
U_flow's user avatar
  • 3,840
15 votes
Accepted

Do all aircraft need to have horizontal and vertical stabilizers?

Depending on how you classify the control surfaces, the B-2 Spirit does not have a horizontal stab, since it is a "flying wing" design. As you have changed the question, the other part of the answer ...
KorvinStarmast's user avatar
15 votes
Accepted

Why does the CF6/CFM56 Turbofan Fan Frame contain 12 circular holes between the primary and secondary flow?

Short answer These holes are vents used to discharge air from the primary (core/hot) flow into the secondary (bypass/cold) flow. They are normally closed by valves (variable bleed valves, VBV). The ...
mins's user avatar
  • 74.5k
13 votes
Accepted

Aside from the Stratolaunch, how many other aircraft have split bodies?

Depends on how you define it but there have been a variety over the years: The P-38 Lighting has 3 bodies there was also a later experimental version the XP-49 that only saw a single airframe. The ...
Dave's user avatar
  • 101k
12 votes
Accepted

What is name of this part on a helicopter?

According to this cutaway it is called "low speed omnidirectional air data sensor system probe". Albeit overcomplicated, the name should be anyway self explaining. The helicopter in the ...
sophit's user avatar
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11 votes
Accepted

Would an aircraft with no ailerons, no elevators and no rudders be safely flyable?

An interesting thought. Control the aeroplane through its propeller(s), like a helicopter does. Propeller torque differential would control roll Propeller cyclic would control both pitch and yaw ...
Koyovis's user avatar
  • 61.8k
10 votes
Accepted

What are these teardrop shaped thingamabobs on the bottom of the Panavia Tornado?

They appear to be related to changing the oil. The Tornado's flight manual is available online. Page 448 shows what seem to be the features you're talking about: The features are the ones marked as "...
yshavit's user avatar
  • 1,163
10 votes
Accepted

Why is the Cirrus Vision SF50's turbine angle so acute?

There are two questions here: why so and how is it handled. For the first one, I'll refer to the Jpe61's answer. Basically, it's just a reasonable compromise for a compact single-engine passenger jet. ...
Zeus's user avatar
  • 9,083
9 votes
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How are flaps controlled?

On a light aircraft, the answer is somewhat similar to the mechanism you might be used to in a RC aircraft. The image below shows the important parts - a hinged flap and a "control rod" which is ...
Jamiec's user avatar
  • 33.3k
9 votes

How are flaps controlled?

Flaps have different actuation mechanisms from primary flight controls. Flaps deflection brings a shift of pitching moment with it, and it is done slowly to give the pilot time to adjust the ...
Koyovis's user avatar
  • 61.8k
8 votes
Accepted

How thick is the skin of an aircraft like the Airbus A350 or Boeing B777?

Below is a cross section of the skin around the passenger windows of a Boeing 747-100 (N602US). It's 2 layers, each layer is ~.075" (1.9 mm) thick. This is the first iteration of the 747 (50 ...
hcoverlambda's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

What are the structural differences between short- and long-haul airplanes?

Yes, short range airliners are designed for up to 90.000 cycles whereas long range airliners can be designed for 40.000 cycles or less. And it is not only the pressurized cabin that needs to be ...
Peter Kämpf's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

How is wing area defined?

Yes, the plain wing area is also used for wing loading. How the value is calculaed depends on the method used. In all cases the center section and ailerons are included but the horizontal tail is ...
Peter Kämpf's user avatar
8 votes

Why is the Cirrus Vision SF50's turbine angle so acute?

Just as engines fore of the CG are pitched down to create a nose-down pitch torque when thrust is added, rear mounted engines can be pitched up to create the same effect. adding thrust adds speed, ...
Robert DiGiovanni's user avatar
8 votes

Why do missiles typically have cylindrical fuselage and not a fuselage that generates more lift?

And some missiles are NOT cylindrical. Here, 6x AGM-86 ALCM (Air Launched Cruise Missile) on a B-52 left wing pylon. photo courtesy of NARA - https://nara.getarchive.net/media/technicians-check-the-...
WPNSGuy's user avatar
  • 9,037
7 votes

Do all aircraft need to have horizontal and vertical stabilizers?

Based on the wording of your question, the Flying Wing design would qualify. These aircraft do not have proper "tail" stabiliser sets and they still fly.
SMS von der Tann's user avatar
7 votes

Do all aircraft need to have horizontal and vertical stabilizers?

Among the earliest aircraft to fly were the models of Alphonse PĂ©naud, and they flew without a vertical tail. The rubberband-powered pusher propeller was sufficient for stabilization. Admittedly, they ...
Peter Kämpf's user avatar
7 votes

Would an aircraft with no ailerons, no elevators and no rudders be safely flyable?

This will work as long as the propellers produce enough thrust and blade pitch can be adjusted fast enough to outrun all eigenmodes. As soon as you need to throttle back (and eventually you must, to ...
Peter Kämpf's user avatar
7 votes

How does the wraparound wing design reduce drag?

It does not reduce drag, but creates more of it. This concept is called a "box wing" and is one variety of closed wings. Another is called a "joined wing" and was popularized by Julian Wolkovitch. ...
Peter Kämpf's user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

Do large non-pressurized metal planes have a maximum fatigue cycle?

Yes they do, and here is why. Airplanes are made mostly of aluminum rather than steel. It is possible to design a steel part in such a way that it will never succumb to fatigue failure (crack ...
niels nielsen's user avatar
7 votes

What's This Cable Connecting Cockpit to Vertical Stabilizer in Air Tractor AT-401?

The wire shown is a cable deflector which is part of a Wire-Strike Protection System common on most agricultural aircraft. Wire-strike protection systems As a last resort, when pilot situational ...
Mike Sowsun's user avatar
  • 37.8k
7 votes
Accepted

What are the heating tubes used during SR-71 airframe manufacturing?

It's basically an open air test oven. The SR71's skin temperatures averaged around 5-600 deg F, up to 1000 deg F in places. The titanium structure had to accommodate a lot of thermal expansion from ...
John K's user avatar
  • 132k
6 votes

What is the relation between geodesic airframe and geodesic curves?

Before answering the questions, let's try to see how simple is the notion of a geodesic. In planar construction, we use latices to rigidify a structure, e.g. a truss: The structure is made of ...
mins's user avatar
  • 74.5k
6 votes

What limits the lifespan of helicopters?

I am a Aerospace Systems Engineer and former Royal Air Force. Although my qualifications and experience are within the avionics arena I feel I can answer this question: There are basically 3 types ...
martin Richards's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

Are helicopters reinforced asymmetrically?

As far as i know, the helicopter airframes are not reinforced asymmetrically due to this reason. Note that the helicopter has to yaw in both ways- so there is no point in reinforcing only one side. ...
aeroalias's user avatar
  • 100k
6 votes

What is the exact purpose of the string attached between front fuselage & the tail section of the transport aircraft's?

That is an end-fed long wire antenna for HF radio use.
niels nielsen's user avatar

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